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Saturday, July 21 2012

Israel In History and Prophecy: The Sinai Journey

Studies in this complete series of Israel In History and Prophecy:
1. Roots and Branches 2. Jacob's Family 3. Moses 4. The Exodus 5. Passover
6. Law Of The LORD 7. The Sinai Journey 8. Joshua 9. The Judges 10. Samuel
11. Saul and David 12. The Civil War 13. Jerusalem 14. Zion 15. King David
16. Solomon 17. The Tabernacle 18. The Temple 19. Israel and Judah 20. The Lost Ten Tribes
21. Kingdom Of Judah 22. Back To Babylon 23. The Prophets 24. Babylon and Persia 25. The Return Of Judah
26. Jews 27. Judaism 28. Purim 29. Hanukkah 30. Hasmonean Judea
31. Roman Judea 32. Herod 33. The Messiah 34. The Zealots 35. Aelia Capitolina
36. Rome and Islam 37. Balfour Declaration 38. Israel Of Judah 39. The New Covenant 40. Alpha and Omega

"When the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the Wilderness of Sinai"

When "the children of Israel" left Egypt in their Exodus, they immediately entered the Wilderness of Sinai. Although the Sinai is held by Egypt today (after it was returned by Israel to Egypt after the wars and peace treaties of the 1960s to 1980s; see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace), the Sinai was outside of the borders of Egypt at the time of the Exodus (see also the Fact Finder question below to understand why the apostle Paul said that Mount Sinai is in Arabia - the reason that some today erroneously think that Mount Sinai is in "Saudi" Arabia, a nation that was created only in the 1920s; see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).


"12:30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Passover].

12:31 And he called for Moses [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses] and Aaron [see also The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood] by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?], as ye have said. 12:32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.

12:33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. 12:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened [see The Rising Of The Messiah's Unleavened People], their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. 12:35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 12:36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians." (Exodus 12:30-36 KJV)

The "children of Israel" had grown into a multitude during their four centuries in Egypt (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?) - "six hundred thousand on foot that were men," plus many more women and children, plus "a mixed multitude went up also with them."

"12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. 12:39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual." (Exodus 12:37-39 KJV)

The Exodus happened exactly how and when the LORD told Abraham, centuries before, that it would happen for the Messianic line from Abraham (see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac).

"12:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. 12:41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass [see The Exodus Prophecy; also Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates], that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 12:42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations." (Exodus 12:40-42 KJV)

"The LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land"

The immediate reason that the LORD turned them southward was so that they would not encounter the Philistines (yet), but moreover the reason was that they were headed for Mount Sinai, which is located in the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula.

The Nile River

"13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 13:18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

13:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph [see Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt] with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

13:20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 13:21 And the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?] went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 13:22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." (Exodus 13:17-22 KJV)

In the meantime, the Pharaoh once again changed his mind about letting the Israelites go - this time, after they had already gone. He then mustered a large force of chariots and horsemen to pursue the Israelites when they were already outside of Egyptian territory (the only regard that Satan-minded leaders have for borders is their own; like the Satan, they have no righteous respect for the lawful territory of other nations; see The Boundary Law and Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal).

"14:5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? 14:6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: 14:7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. 14:8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. 14:9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon." (Exodus 14:5-9 KJV)

When the Egypt-born Israelites saw the Pharaoh's army coming, they panicked. They had been brainwashed to believe the propaganda that the Egyptian army was invincible - an illusion that the LORD was once again about to cure them of (see also Legions Of Men And Angels and The Coming World Dictator).

Crossing Of The Sea

"14:10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. 14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14:10-14 KJV)

Contrary to popularized myth, the waters were not split, instantly or otherwise. They were driven back "by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided (see Christ's Crossing Of The Sea). After the Israelites had completed their crossing, the LORD permitted the water to come rushing back upon the Pharaoh's imperial army.

"14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 14:20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

14:23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 14:24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 14:25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

14:26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 14:28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.

14:29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses." (Exodus 14:19-31 KJV)

"Come up in the morning unto Mount Sinai, and present thyself there to Me"

It was not a hard march for the Israelites; a few months after the Exodus, the Israelites (approximately 2-3 million of them, with flocks and herds) "camped before the Mount."

The Sinai Peninsula

"19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 19:2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount." (Exodus 19:1-2 KJV)

The LORD (see Who Is The LORD?) then delivered, to them, His Eternal Ten Commandments (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD).

"20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,

20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it [see Who Is The LORD? and When Is The LORD's Day?; also Why Observe The True Sabbath?].

20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

20:15 Thou shalt not steal.

20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." (Exodus 20:1-17 KJV)

Mount Sinai

As further recorded in Exodus chapters 20 to 31, while he was up on Mount Sinai, Moses was given detailed instructions and laws for the country that would be born when they entered the Promised Land, "31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God." (Exodus 31:18 KJV). During the extended time that Moses was away, the Israelites chose to ignore the spectacular power of the LORD that they had been witnessing and made for themselves the infamous "golden calf" idol. It was Israel's first great apostasy - one of many to come over the centuries. Notice that they called the idol "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" and their worship of the idol as "a feast to the LORD." It was blasphemy.

"32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

32:2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 32:3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

32:5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play [see The Mount Sinai Riot]." (Exodus 32:1-6 KJV)

When Moses returned, he restored order to the camp - and then returned up on the Mountain (see Mountains Of The Messiah).

"34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first [see The Stones Of Mount Sinai]: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. 34:2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. 34:3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount." (Exodus 34:1-3 KJV)

"34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." (Exodus 34:28 KJV)

"This evil congregation, that are gathered together against Me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die"

The Israelites had come out of Egypt (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Exodus) at Passover (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Passover). They had received the Eternal Law of the LORD, to begin their national prophetic purpose (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God). At Mount Sinai, they were half-way home, and it took only a few months to do it. It would have taken only a few months more for their journey home. But they remained in the Sinai for forty years.

"16:35 And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan." (Exodus 16:35 KJV)

Why forty years, when they could have been home in a few months? Numbers chapters 13 and 14 describes how, as the Israelites were approaching their entry into the promised land, from the south, through the Negev Desert (see The Negev Of Israel), twelve Israelite scouts were sent ahead to gather information. What they found truly was a land blessed with milk and honey.

Milk and Honey

"13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them." (Numbers 13:1-2 KJV)

"13:22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt." (Numbers 13:22 KJV)

"13:25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey [see The Way To The Land Of Milk And Honey]; and this is the fruit of it." (Numbers 13:25-27 KJV)

The land was however occupied by formidable Canaanite forces, which caused all of the scouts, except Joshua and Caleb, to lose courage (while ignoring the fact that with God fighting their battles for them they were undefeatable - as He had just demonstrated with the "superpower" Pharaoh), so they gave a false report to the people. This in turn caused most of the Israelites to lose heart, and to actually want to return to their slavery in Egypt. At one point they were about to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb who desperately tried to encourage the people to remain obedient and courageous, but they wouldn't listen.

"13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites [see A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan], and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13:28-33 KJV)

"14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." (Numbers 14:1-4 KJV)

It was a very costly rebellion for them. The LORD turned them and had them wander in the Sinai for the next forty years, until the entire rebel generation of the Exodus had died. It would be their children and grandchildren that would enter the Promised Land, from the east, across the Jordan River.

The Negev Desert

"14:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 14:28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 14:29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 14:30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 14:31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. 14:32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. 14:33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. 14:35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die [see A Journey Without A Destination].

14:36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 14:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still." (Numbers 14:26-38 KJV)

When the Israelites realized what they had done, they attempted to enter the promised land anyway. They had defied the LORD's command to go in, and they then defied the LORD's command to stay out. The result was of their own making.

"14:39 And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. 14:40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.

14:41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. 14:42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.

14:44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. 14:45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah." (Numbers 14:39-45 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why did the apostle Paul say that Mount Sinai was in "Arabia"?
See Paul's Geography Lesson

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This Day In History, July 21

356 BC: The original Temple of Artemis (also known as the Temple of Diana) in Ephesus, one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" (it took 120 years to build it) was destroyed by arson. The idol-worshiping Temple was rebuilt and is recorded in the New Testament (see The Riot At Ephesus).

365: An earthquake at Crete caused a tsunami in the Mediterranean Sea that struck Alexandria, Egypt. It killed over 5,000 people in the city and 50,000 more in the surrounding area.

1403: Henry IV defeated rebel forces at the Battle of Shrewsbury in England.

1542: In an increasing fight against Protestantism, Pope Paul III set up an "Inquisition."

1588: The first of 3 battles of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada (warships and thousands of European marines) that had been sent by the Papacy to invade England.

1667: The Peace of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1664-1667) and ceded Dutch New Amsterdam (today known as New York City) to the English.

1711: Russia and Turkey signed the Treaty of Pruth, ending the year-long Russo-Turkish War of 1711.

1773: Clement XIV issued his Dominus ac redemptor noster which officially dissolved the so-called "Society of Jesus" (the Jesuits).

1774: The Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774 ended with the signing of the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji between Russia and the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1798: The "Battle of the Pyramids" took place in Egypt. The Mameluke army attempted to block Napoleon's march on Cairo but were repulsed and eventually driven into the Nile River, where many were drowned.

1831: Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands. Leopold of Saxe-Coburg (in Germany) was elected the first king of the Belgians.

1904: The 4,607 mile / 7,468 kilometer Trans-Siberian railway was completed after 13 years of construction.

1925: The "Scopes monkey trial" ended in Dayton, Tennessee when John Scopes was found guilty and fined $100.00 for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in violation of a Tennessee statute enacted earlier in the year. Scopes' conviction was later overturned (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1954: The French signed an armistice with the Viet Minh that ended their war but divided the Vietnamese people into two countries. The result was a Vietnam civil war between the north and the south that the U.S. later involved itself in after the French withdrew from the divided Vietnam that they created.

1969: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin lifted off from the surface of the moon, successfully completing the first manned lunar landing (the Russians were the first to make a successful unmanned lunar landing; first, a series of intentional crash landings beginning in 1959, then a controlled landing in 1966 from which scientific instruments transmitted data and video back to earth).

1970: Construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt was completed after 11 years.

1983: Martial law was lifted in Poland. It had been imposed in December 1981 by the communist government in a crackdown against Solidarity labor union.

1983: The lowest temperature ever recorded occurred at Vostok Station, Antarctica: -89.2 degrees Celsius / -128 degrees Fahrenheit.

1998: Alan Shepherd died at age 74. Shepherd was the first U.S. astronaut in space (a Russian was the first human in space) and the 5th man to walk on the moon.


Copyright © Wayne Blank